Jets Score Tight Win over Alameda Hornets

Ekene Ikeme

Island Bowl Results

Encinal takes fifth straight victory from crosstown rival

Above, Alameda Hornets’ defensive end Adham Awa (23) lines up to rush the Encinal Jets quarterback in the storied “Big Game” of the year, when the crosstown rivals square off on the football field. For more on the game, turn to page 5.

Encinal takes trophy home for fifth straight year in 45-41 nailbiter

The Encinal Jets won their fifth straight “Big Game” 45-41 against the Alameda High Hornets last Friday, Sept. 23, at Stargell Field.

The 57th edition of the “Big Game” lived up to the hype as the highly contentious battle went down to the wire, but in the end the Jets came out victorious.

Stargell Field was packed with fans for both teams standing on the sidelines because the stands were full. Many fans came in costumes and body paint displaying their school pride.

The game was played at a breakneck pace as both quarterbacks — Andrew Ve’e for Encinal, Antonio Manibusan for Alameda — appeared to be playing a game of one-upmanship between themselves.

Ve’e got the upper hand first after he scored on a five-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the game.

Manibusan matched Ve’e’s touchdown and raised him one more.

First on a 55-yard touchdown pass where he scrambled away from defenders and connected with Andrew Cooper. A little over a minute later after an Encinal punt, Manibusan hit Zac Alfers, who got behind the secondary, on a 43-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter.

With the Hornets up 14-7 late in the second quarter, the game turned in Encinal’s favor.

After a three-and-out, Abraham Hill of Encinal blocked the Alameda punt.

Austin Ve’e recovered the ball at the Alameda 1-yard line. Jon Trodder ran into the end zone on the next play to make it 14-14. The Hornets’ next possession resulted in another three-and-out.

This time Alex Amiri of Encinal blocked the punt and Isaiah Hunter recovered the ball in the end zone. Encinal took the lead 21-14.

“We had two punts blocked,” said Hornet coach Kemp Moyer.


Ekene Ikeme

Jets and Hornets await the outcome of the big game coin toss. Encinal won the toss, and the game.

Victory: At Big Game goes to Encinal again

“Jesse (Lewis), our starting punter, is out sick. Those two plays were huge against us. But we had to keep on fighting.”

The Jets added a field goal near the end of the half to make it 24-14 entering halftime.

Manibusan continued his excellent play in the second half with a 39-yard TD pass to Keelan Doss to close the scoring gap to 24-21.

Corey Sails scored on a sevenyard touchdown run to make it 31-21, set up by Bo Banks’ 31-yard run. Manibusan, as he did all night, responded on the next possession with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Zac Alfers; Manibusan’s fourth touchdown pass on the night, to make the score 31-28.

On the Jets next possession, they drove the ball to the oneyard line. But the Jets were called for two personal foul penalties, a common theme of the night, for 15 yards apiece. The fouls made it first-and-goal from the 31-yard line.

“I’ve never seen a team try harder to lose a game,” said Jet coach Joe Tenorio. “There comes a time to cut the crap and play the game. It frustrated me.”

On fourth-and-goal from the 25- yard line, the Jets opted against kicking a field goal and went for it.

“We don’t have that kind of range,” said Tenorio. “It was never really an option.”

Ve’e scrambled to his right and threw a bullet pass that found Bo Banks in the end zone, silencing the loud Alameda High sideline.

“We had a shot,” said Moyer. “But we gave it up.” The Ve’e touchdown made it 38-28. Both teams added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but AHS never captured the lead. Despite the loss, Manibusan was the best player on the field Friday night.

“He played an outstanding game,” said Tenorio. “I think he played one of the best games I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m proud of him,” said Moyer. “He kept fighting from first to fourth quarter. This is as well as I’ve ever seen him play.”

Manibusan finished with 376 yards passing and five touchdowns (4 pass, 1 rush).

The loss brings Alameda’s record to 1-3 heading into league play against Berkeley High School next Friday at Berkeley. Encinal, 2-1 on the season, faces Piedmont in their first league game this Friday night at Stargell Field.

The Encinal-Alameda junior varsity game ended in an 8-8 tie.


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